Even though it is the dead of winter, the sunlight sprinkles in among the snowy, drab days. That can be bad news for your eyes if they aren’t properly protected.
Harmful UV rays may be even more damaging in the winter. Many don’t wear sunglasses during these colder and darker months, and the other reason is that snow and ice provide a powerful reflective surface.
Sunlight bouncing off snow and ice, particularly at high altitudes, may sunburn unprotected eyes.
Even at regular altitudes, the UV rays bouncing off snow can be harmful. These UV rays can contribute to eye disease like cataracts and macular degeneration, which can lead to vision loss.
Interestingly, a survey from the Vision Council found that 75 percent of Americans are concerned about UV safety, but only 31 percent wear sunglasses. They could be the best protection your eyes have against damaging rays.
The healthiest and most antioxidant-rich diet won’t protect your eyes from the sun. Glasses that block at least 99 percent of UVA and UVB rays can help protect you where diet can’t. Polarized glasses are even better because they can protect you from glare.
All of this means it’s worthwhile to invest in a quality pair of sunglasses. The options at the drugstore checkout or fast-fashion store may be at an unbeatable price. However, they may add an insurmountable cost to future eye health.
Simply put, invest in a good pair of polarized sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of UV rays. Wear them all year long, whether you’re outdoors or driving (car windshields don’t offer much protection from UV rays), to help protect your vision.
Aside from wearing sunglasses in the winter, remember that diet and weight can play a vital role in your risk for blindness and eye disease. Get the antioxidants and nutrients you need by eating plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables.